The Wang Li Character Dictionary of Ancient Chinese
Wang Li (1900-1986) was a renowned Chinese linguist who made major contributions to the study of Chinese dialects, grammar, and historical linguistics. Along with his mentor Zhao Yuanren (Yuen Ren Chao), he was one of the first to apply modern methods to the study of the Chinese language and is regarded as a founder of modern Chinese linguistics.
In the 1960s, Wang proposed the compilation of a dictionary of the ancient Chinese language to address the shortcomings of previous works and conforming to the principles of historical linguistics. Due to the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), his proposed project could not be initiated at the time. Wang finally began work on his dictionary in 1984 and worked on it until he passed away in 1986. The dictionary was therefore completed by his students and colleagues at Peking University in accordance with his plans and sketches. Although the dictionary was projected to be compiled in four years, it took an additional decade to complete and was published by the Zhonghua Publishing House in 2000.
Upon publication, it was immediately regarded as a landmark work of scholarship and quickly became an authoritative reference for students and researchers of linguistics and classical studies.
作者貢獻 (Author Contributions) Note: The dictionary was ultimately completed by a seven-member Compilation Group. The main text is divided into twelve sections, using the Earthly Branches as the section names. The author(s) of each of these sections is listed below. Before his death, Wang Li authored the first four sections and a portion of the last section.